What I Learned Building My Dog a House

I just recently put in a fence around my yard, and boy was that a project! Anyway, after finishing up the fence I knew I’d be able to leave my German Shepherd outside while going to the grocery store, or for other small activities. The fence is great for keeping him in and giving him a safe place to run around, but it doesn’t protect him from the elements. A few days of setting up a temporary sun shade for my pup made it painfully obvious that I needed to get him a doghouse.

igloo dog house
Cheapy Lowes Igloo style house


I could have went straight to Lowes and picked up one of these lovely Igloo dog houses for around $120 and some change, but I’ve never been a big fan of them. They’re pretty cramped for my 90 lb. German Shepherd, and they feel pretty cheap for the price. After looking around at the different houses available, and being shocked at the $300 and $400+ price tags listed on most of the nicer ones that would actually fit my pup, I decided I would have to build him one.

I Decided to Build Him a House

The moment I decided to build a dog house myself I began searching the Internet for free plans. I decided I wanted to construct something like the house below. Something sturdy and stylish to shield him from the elements when I take trips into town.

free dog house
Awesome full-wood house


Planning was a Disaster!

A dog house seems pretty simple at first glance. It’s four walls, a door and a roof after all. Unfortunately, putting one together isn’t quite so simple if you’re using crappy directions. I turned up some free stuff that had vague measurements, or poor images. I’m a decent builder, but I like to work with blueprints and nice plans that lay things out for me. Not only that but I really love having a shopping list that tells me what lumber to buy. I HATE looking at all the different cuts and measurements and trying to figure out the lumber myself.

It takes forever to do, and you always end up running to the store for more pieces before finishing. After reading my way through several free plans, and seeing that they weren’t going to work for me without some serious adjustments and calculations, I decided it wasn’t worth the effort. Instead I made the decision to cough up some money and buy quality plans. Sure I spent around $20 for the plans, but they laid out the build, made planning the finished house simple, and best of all gave me a supply list to shop from. I had an itemized materials list I could bring with me to Lowes to pick up my lumber with so I didn’t have to figure it out myself.

Building the House

With my new plans in hand I was able to throw together a really nice dog house for my pup within four hours (not counting my trip to the hardware store of course). I didn’t use special tools, as you can see from my tools list below, and I love showing off the finished product to friends and family members.

Wood Dog House


My Tools List

Here’s a quick overview of the tools I used to build this dog house. I don’t have a substantial set of tools, and never felt like I needed them during the process.

  • Speed square
  • Circular saw
  • Corded drill
  • 50′ extension cord
  • 2″ and 3″ galvanized exterior screws
  • Framing hammer
  • 25′ tape measure

That’s all I used to build the house, and it was a simple task, though it would have been even faster if I still had my miter chop saw.

Future House Projects

I picked the plans up from Bill Keene online and printed off the house I wanted to build in just moments. The instructions are awesome because they cover more than one house. You get plans for small, medium and large houses, and you’ll even see how to put multiple houses together to create attached houses for multiple dogs.

The house turned out so nice that my mom asked me to build a medium-duplex house for her two corgis. I haven’t started the project yet but I’ll post pictures of it when I’m done!

corgis picture


I don’t usually spend money on plans, and I rarely recommend them to my readers, but if you want to put together a nice dog house, you can save time and trouble by spending $20 on these plans from Bill Keene. They’re simple and easy and damned cheap when you consider the time saved on building quality dog houses.

One Comment

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *